Tag Archives: marketing

B2B Marketing Analytics

On Saturday I presented a session about B2B Marketing Analytics at AnalyticsCamp in Chapel Hill (slides here). My specialty is Marketing Automation, but Analytics and Reporting come up in pretty much any project I do. Even though I almost flunked my Statistics class in college, there’s no denying that Marketing Automation and Marketing Analytics are two sides of the same coin.

Why Analytics?

Part of the attractiveness of Marketing Automation is that marketing processes finally become repeatable and measurable. So it’s no wonder that marketers who believe in automation also want to see reports on marketing performance. But what exactly do they want to do with that information? This is my take:

  • Optimize marketing tactics
  • Optimize marketing budget
  • Optimize ROI
  • Predict revenue

Challenge 1: Choose Your Metrics

To accomplish the above tasks you need to choose the right metrics: rich enough to provide insight and simple enough to be actionable. When I made my presentation I put them in 4 categories, and I’d love to have your feedback on them:

Basic Metrics

This is the flawed but still-important number of inquiries (raw leads), plus the number of qualified leads. You can use lead scoring or a phone call to see whether a lead matches your ideal lead profile. If yes, you have a qualified lead. This should be fairly simple to capture, but not every company is doing this yet.

Revenue Metrics

Step 2 is to tie campaigns to revenue. You need to link marketing automation to CRM so you can link campaigns to sales opportunities. At first, you can attribute the full revenue to the first campaign, but as you get more sophisticated you may want to set up a multiple attribution  model (not for the faint of heart though!).

Process Metrics

SiriusDecisions did a lot of work here by defining the demand generation waterfall model: Inquiries > Marketing Qualified Leads > Sales Accepted Leads > Sales Qualified Leads > Won Business. If you measure the ratios between the stages, you can see where the bottlenecks are in the sales & marketing processes. SiriusDecisions can also provide benchmark numbers.

Justification Metrics

These are the metrics to cover your back. Keep track of how much of the sales pipeline is generated by marketing. This clearly shows how much revenue potential marketing is responsible for. This also makes it possible to calculate the ROI, which – hopefully – shows that the investment in marketing pays back for itself (don’t do this until you know it’s going to look good ;- ).

Challenge 2: Collect Data & Run Your Reports

Part of the data you need comes from your website and partly it is from your CRM system. You probably also want to measure whether leads respond to your emails, and you want to input some cost data. So in principle, a Marketing Automation system should be able to capture most of this data. In reality, you may still have to do some customization to be totally closed-loop.

Support for reporting in Marketing Automation systems is very mixed. Simple systems often have only basic reporting, the larger systems tend to have an embedded BI tool, which is powerful but not necessarily easy to use.

What I Want

I’d love to have Google Analytics for Marketing Analytics. Just hook it up to your Marketing and CRM databases, and do your analysis. I’ve seen some promising products, like YouCalc and GoodData (a client of mine), but it’s not as easy and comprehensive as Google Analytics is for Web Analytics. What do you think: can we expect such a tool in the near future?

PS. Also let me know your opinion on my slide deck

Sales 2.0: Also for Marketing?

Today I’m at the Sales 2.0 conference to learn more about new sales & marketing techniques. A sales conference while I’m in marketing? I told one of my sales coworkers yesterday, and the discussion went like this:

Jep: I’m going to the Sales 2.0 conference tomorrow

Coworker: [confused look] Why are you going to a sales conference?

Jep: It also covers sales development (lead qualification) and demand generation

Coworker: Oh really? That’s interesting.

So many people still think that “Sales 2.0” is only about sales. Not surprising, as it says “sales” and does not mention marketing.

The reality is different: successful implementation of Sales 2.0 requires close collaboration between sales and marketing. For example, David Solinger explained  that Ariba now has precise metrics how many leads they need to close a specific amount of business. That is only possible when sales and marketing work closely together.

Sales & Marketing: a single revenue cycle

I stopped by at Marketo‘s booth and had a nice chat with Deanna Deary (Sales) and Kelly Abner (Marketing Director) and asked them about their take. They see marketing & sales as a single revenue cycle. And with better tools (like Marketo) there is better insight in the revenue that marketing influences: so rather than seeing marketing as a cost center, it actually brings in money.

As marketing is getting their act together, sales is also more appreciative or marketing. David Satterwhite of NewScale mentioned an old quote of Larry Ellison: “If you’re not a sales rep and you’re not an engineer, then you’re overhead.”

Marketo’s Kelly mentioned that the first Sales 2.0 conference had a lot of “marketing bashing”. That has changed: today’s conference has a dedicated marketing session, and dozens of marketing people are attending.

Tom McCleary of GroupSwim sees the same trend: “marketing and sales need to be in lockstep, and the feedback needs to be instantaneous”. GroupSwim provides online collaboration software that results in better alignment of sales & marketing teams, regardless of the location of these teams.

We need a new type of marketing person…

Another trend is a change in people: I’ve seen traditional marketing VPs who do not like to be pinned down on a specific lead goals. They think it’s better to keep the goals vague, and focus on lead quantity rather than quality. Traditional Sales VPs then complain about the marketing leads and try to find ways to become self-sufficient and generate their own leads.

As Sales 2.0 is changing to a collaborative model, different skills and priorities are needed. For marketing specifically, I think we need more analytical skills: people who are not focused on pretty images, but on setting up efficient processes, with metrics to support this.

This analytical marketer is hard to find: I’ve been told that the best Eloqua sales rep is also placing demand-gen specialists with new Eloqua clients, to ensure that they have the skills need to make “Marketing 2.0” a success.

Marketers Unite

There are books and conferences on Sales 2.0, but – even though marketing is mentioned – are primarily about sales. But for successful implementation of Sales 2.0 you need both sales and marketing, and marketing seems to be behind.

How can we get more exposure for the role of marketing in Sales 2.0?

Let me know your ideas!

Sales 2.0 Conference: for Marketing 2.0 too

I was recently invited to attend the Sales 2.0 Conference, which takes place on March 4 & 5, 2009 in San Francisco. I always like to attend conferences, so I gladly accepted. But I did wonder:

How does Sales 2.0 relate to Marketing Automation?

In the traditional way of thinking, if something is labeled “sales” it is clearly not marketing. Luckily, things are changing. The best definition of Sales 2.0 captures this, by mentioning the importance of having a customer-focused process that is supported by both sales and marketing:

sales 2.0 conference logo“Sales 2.0 brings together customer-focused methodologies and productivity-enhancing technologies that transform selling from an art to a science. Sales 2.0 relies on a repeatable, collaborative and customer-enabled process that runs through the sales and marketing organization, resulting in improved productivity, predictable ROI and superior performance.” – Pelin Wood Thorogood and Gerhard Gschwandtner

Having applied Sales 2.0 techniques in my own job, I’ve seen that the collaboration between marketing and sales has improved significantly: the sales team now knows what they can expect from marketing. The processes are better defined, and the outcomes are more measurable.

Sales 2.0 Tools

On this blog I often cover solutions that support the marketing & sales process. If you look at the sponsors of the Sales 2.0 Conference you get a good overview of the type of products offered in the Sales 2.0 space. This is just a subset:

  • Genius.com
    Email and analytics tools for demand generation; Genius.com offers products for both individual sales people as well as marketing teams
  • Marketo
    Lead Management software, to streamline the lead generation process from inquiry to sales-ready lead
  • Xactly
    Compensation management software; seems most interesting for larger sales organizations
  • LucidEra, Angoss, Birst
    Sales & Marketing Analytics; they will probably be upset that I bundled them together,but based on their websites it looks like they do a similar thing: providing better insight into sales & marketing performance
  • GroupSwim Sales Collaboration
    Collaboration software for Sales & Marketing teams; includes a strong knowledge sharing component.

And then there are a whole range of sales productivity tools (e.g. ConnectAndSell and Xobni) and data vendors (like JigSaw). Also, services vendors are present, from lead generation services to sales training.

The Conference Schedule

In addition to interesting Sales 2.0 vendors, the conference has an nice line-up of speakers. This includes Brian Carroll (author of Lead Management for the Complex Sale), Jim Dickie and Barry Trailer of CSO Insights, Judy Fick of Unisys and many more. The event is hosted by Gerhard Gschwandtner of SellingPower and David Thompson of Genius.com. If you want to meet up, please send me an email (leadsloth) or Tweet.

Are you planning to attend the conference? It looks like there will be some interesting topics for demand generation marketers, what is your take?